In late 1995, I was buying a replacement windowpane for my house and saw an advertisement in the glass shop that would lead me down an unexpected and very different path. “Learn to Make Glass Beads,” the sign said. I was intrigued and signed up on the spot.
What was I thinking? I had a full-time corporate job, a toddler, and an old house that my husband and I were renovating. But I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend a weekend learning a new skill and doing something just for me.
I immediately discovered the joy of playing with molten glass over a flame and experimenting to find out “what would happen if.” I came home from the class with a torch, safety glasses, and rods of colored glass. Six months later, the company I worked for relocated to Atlanta, and, taking a leap of faith, I became a full-time studio artist.
My business grew substantially beginning in 1998, when I was juried into Southern Highland Craft Guild, one of the oldest and most respected craft organizations in the country. Being a member of the Guild gave my work credibility with galleries across the Southeast.
My beads are included in the book 1000 Glass Beads: Innovation & Imagination in Contemporary Glass Beadmaking, and I was featured on an episode of Tennessee Crossroads, produced by Nashville Public Television.
When I'm not in my studio experimenting and creating, I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. I have taught at John C. Campbell Folk School, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and for beadmaking groups throughout the region.